Botanical name: Tradescantia sillamontana
Common names: Cobweb Spiderwort, White Velvet Plant, White Gossamer Plant
Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) also called White Velvet Plant or White Gossamer Plant is a small upright perennial plant which bears highly branched hairy stems.
White Velvet Plant leaves are oblong-lanceolate and are in the shape of a boat's keel and may have a purple tone.
The flowers in Cobweb Spiderwort Plant are borne at the end of the stems and are a deep pink color.
The entire Cobweb Spiderwort plant is covered by white hairs and hence the common names. It grows to a height of 30-40 cm.
White Gossamer Plant exhibits upright growth in the early stages of development but as it matures it exhibits prostrate growth and rooting at the soil surface.
Tradescantia sillamontana is endemic to dry areas of the State of Nuevo Len in northeastern Mexico and can also be found in Spain and Italy.
Are you looking to add this pretty plant to your collection? Various Cobweb Spiderworts are available online at Etsy. Buy Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) online from Etsy.
Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) thrives in bright, indirect light, average warmth away from drafts and moderately moist, fertile, free-draining soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Tradescantia sillamontana requires repotting only when extremely pot-bound as it grows best when slightly root-bound.
Regular pruning is needed to keep it neat, to reduce pest and disease infestations, to encourage a bushy, compact growth and to rejuvenate growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Cobweb Spiderwort grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves.
Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth and avoid lopsided growth.
Water Cobweb Spiderwort liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Decrease watering during the cold weather to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and death of the plant.
Average warmth with a minimum 130C is ideal for Cobweb Spiderwort. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.
Keep the White Gossamer Plant from drafts as they can lead to sudden changes in the temperature which can cause leaf drop and reduced growth.
Cobweb Spiderwort has no need for high humidity. Moderate (average) air humidity is ideal for this Plant.
However, where the temperatures are very high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Feed Cobweb Spiderwort with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period for lush growth.
Stop feeding the White Velvet Plant during the cold season as the growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn.
Repot Cobweb Spiderwort during the growing season only when the plant has become extremely pot-bound as it grows best when the roots are confined.
Use a pot one size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.
The best soil for Cobweb Spiderwort should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most cactus and succulents potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Purchase quality cactus and succulents soil for White Gossamer Plant from Etsy.
Pruning Cobweb Spiderwort involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy as well as discourage pest and disease infestations.
To control the growth and encourage bushyness, pinch the growing tips. Cut back leggy stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.
Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) can be propagated during the growing period by plant divison or from stem-cuttings.
Water the Cobweb Spiderwort thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.
Take the plant out of its pot and carefully divide it into sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least one set of leaves.
Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Fill the pot with loose, free-draining soil and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the section.
Place the section in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base while taking care not to bury it too deep; maintain the section at the same soil level it was in the previous pot.
Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place until the new White Gossamer Plant is well established after which you can begin routine care.
The stem cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone. Take a stem cutting of about 4-6 in. from a healthy Cobweb Spiderwort and ensure it bears at least two sets of leaves.
Allow some time for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of the cuttings to prevent rotting.
Fill the rooting container with loose, free-draining soil to a depth of about 4 in. Lightly moisten the soil.
With a pencil or similar object make a hole that is wider than the diameter of the cutting. Carefully insert the cutting in the hole made previously to a depth of about 3 in.
Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges.
Allow the new White Velvet Plants to be well established before transplanting to individual pots after which you can begin routine care.
Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) problems include leggy growth, loss of leaf color, leaf drop, yellowing leaves, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Cobweb Spiderwort will readily drop its leaves if the light is inadequate (too little). The plant grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine.
Ensure to place the White Gossamer Plant in a brightly lit place while protecting it from direct hot sunshine to avoid scorching of the leaves or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.
There are three possible causes of leggy growth in Cobweb Spiderwort. One possible cause is too little light as the plant thrives in bright, indirect light but away from direct sunshine.
Move the White Velvet Plant to a brighter spot where it can receive bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
The second cause of leggy growth in Cobweb Spiderwort is underwatering resulting in too little moisture in the soil and thus the plant does not get enough water and nutrients necessary for growth.
Water the White Velvet Plant thoroughly during the growing season to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Cut down on watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
The third cause of leggy growth in Tradescantia sillamontana is inadequate feeding (underfeeding).
Feed the Coweb Spiderwort every 4 weeks with a balanced, liquid fertilizer to promote healthy growth.
Limp stems and yellow leaves in Cobweb Spiderwort are due to underwatering. This results in too little moisture in the soil.
Underwatering means that there is not enough water in the soil for the plant to take up. As such, the stems become limp and the leaves begin to die.
Water the White Gossamer Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Lessen watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Loss of leaf color in Cobweb Spiderwort is caused by inadequate light (too little light) as it grows best in bright, indirect light but away from direct sunshine.
Move the Tradescantia sillamontana where it will receive bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural light is not enough for the plant.
Cobweb Spiderwort death is caused by root-rot disease which is promoted about by soggy soil due to poor soil drainage.
Ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
Also, decrease watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and thus the plant does not require a lot of water. Read more on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.
Cobweb Spiderwort is also prone to leaf spot disease. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat the plant appropriately for the disease. Read more on how to treat leaf spot in houseplants.
Common pests in Cobweb Spiderwort are Mealy Bugs, Aphids and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) is mildly toxic to humans and pets.
If ingested, the plant sap can cause burning in the mouth, tongue and throat. The sap may also cause skin irritation in sensitive skin; always wear gloves when handling the White Gossamer Plant.
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